15th April 2015, a note added to Evernote, an idea for a photography project. An idea that lingered in the back of my mind but went no further.
Summer 2017, more than two years later and three things happened that made me drag that idea from the back of my mind and start to explore it further.
First I stumbled across a Kickstarter campaign for a photo book called Tanera (Ar Duthaich), a black and white photo book about life on a Scottish island. This project in no way resembles my own idea but something about both the photography and funding campaign made me think it was about time I acted on my idea.
And then the Lensbaby Velvet 85 arrived, the second time I took it out I came home with a handful of images that got me thinking that the lens was just made to do something more interesting.
And finally, I already had plans to photograph a blacksmith which gave me a perfect opportunity to take some test shots with the Velvet 85 and see if it lived up to my expectations. Which it did!
In brief the idea was to photograph traditional craftspeople and their workspaces documenting their skills and dedication in keeping these old crafts alive. I don’t yet know how many people will be involved or what their crafts might be, basket weaving, blacksmithing, book binding and walking stick making were a few that immediately sprung to mind but there are many, many more!
I’m going to be shooting the whole project with Lensbaby lenses, possibly all with the Velvet 56 and 85 although maybe I’ll use some of the others too.
There’s a few things I’m not yet decided on, will it all be black & white, how do I want to share as I go along, do I want to write a little or a lot, how will I know when I’m finished?? So many questions keep going through my mind but I’m trusting that now is the right time to start and everything will come clear as I progress.
So now I’m looking for volunteers!!
I’m looking for people involved in traditional crafts in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, North Cheshire, Merseyside and nearby areas. I may venture further afield next year if I can find of way of securing some funding to help with costs.
I’m only shooting on weekdays and I will need a release form signing. I’d like to think that one day this project could be a book or an exhibition, you’ll need to be OK with that idea.
If you are interested or know someone who might be please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.